The Courier-Mail

Smerdon promises Lumosty surprise

- BEN DORRIES @dorries_cmail

ROBERT Smerdon has kicked off the Stradbroke Handicap mind games by suggesting Lumosty may surprise everyone by being ridden forward.

Victorian trainer Smerdon, now growing in confidence the $5 favourite will secure a Stradbroke run with others dropping by the wayside, says rivals should expect the unexpected from the filly.

Big-race specialist Corey Brown will steer Lumosty and with only 50.5kg, Smerdon suggested she might be more forward than many expect.

He pointed to how Lumosty won a 1600m Moonee Valley race last October after she sat second in the run.

“She is very tractable and pretty much led all of the way that day at Moonee Valley and won well,’’ Smerdon said. “Anything is possible with her, she is a very good filly.”

Smerdon now feels his exciting three-year-old will get a run thanks to several withdrawal­s such as Najoom, Saturday’s Group 2 QTC Cup winner Ball Of Muscle and Chris Waller frontrunne­r Strawberry Boy.

This year’s Stradbroke doesn’t look as strong as in many recent years and fillies have a decent record in the last 20 years with La Montagna (2006), Private Steer ( 2003) and Dane Ripper (1997) all tasting glory.

Lumosty should get her chance to win but Smerdon isn’t listening to those knocking the quality of this year’s Stradbroke.

“It’s looking much better that she will get in the field, but it’s not over the line just yet,’’ Smerdon said.

“We won’t know our fate for sure and certain until the acceptance­s come out.

“I’m not one of those who subscribe to the theory that the Stradbroke this year isn’t high quality. There are lots of very good horses in the race and it’s a Group 1 – they aren’t easy to win. I would never underestim­ate how hard it is to win a Stradbroke.’’

Lumosty, winner of her past two starts against older horses down the Flemington straight, will have a light gallop at Caulfield this morning before flying to Brisbane tonight.

If she doesn’t make the Stradbroke field she will contest the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes on Saturday before heading to the Group 1 Tatts Tiara on the Gold Coast on June 20.

Meanwhile, Smerdon’s Queensland Oaks runner-up Ungrateful Ellen has been sent to the spelling paddock.

“I was delighted with how she ran, it was virtually as good as a win because I always thought Winx had a mortgage on the race,’’ Smerdon said.

“She will have a spell and then come back for a light Spring campaign and we will possibly look at a race like the Matriarch Stakes for her.’’

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